Today the rapper Stormzy promised to send 36 students to Cambridge. The only criteria? That they must be black. This article looks at essentially racist double standards in academia today.
Since 2018 Stormzy’s charity, partnered with HSBC, has been giving £20,000 scholarships to Cambridge University to black students for which the sole criteria is race. Already 32 students have taken advantage of the offer. To be clear, these students are not to blame for wanting to study at the university ranked second in the world. I wish them all the best with their future, and hope they can contribute to making a truly great Britain.
However, the massively wealthy rapper Stormzy, not to mention the bank HSBC currently worth $168 billion dollars certainly can be blamed. They have created an entrance criterion explicitly on the basis of the colour of one’s skin, which is clear racial discrimination. Martin Luther King would be rolling in his grave. He said people should be judged ‘not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.’ I agree with this, and think we need to return to that principle. Furthermore I would go on to say that we will never become a colourblind, tolerant society if this kind of race-based thinking is continued.
The university’s justification that they merely want to benefit children from ‘less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds’ is plainly nonsense, as if they wanted to do that then they would demand the scholarship be open to all, regardless of race. Besides, it has been shown that white teenagers perform worse than their black and asian peers at GCSEs, so if a scholarship has to be offered, it should be to them.
What’s the solution? I believe that properly examined this breaks the law. The Equality Act 2010 Section 91 (2D) forbids discrimination by higher education bodies, including universities. Therefore, the government should apply the law and ban all such discriminatory scholarships.